Inflation, Other Forces Will Continue to Push Gold Higher

Inflation, Other Forces Will Continue to Push Gold Higher

As Forbes contributor Frank Holmes points out, two weeks ago, the greenback hit its highest level in about a year. It beat a basket of other currencies in doing so, and once again showed strength against expectations. But was it a show of strength on the U.S. dollar’s part, or a show of weakness on the part of foreign currencies?

We’ve mentioned in the past that gold has been hitting all-time highs in currencies around the world heading up to 2019. Only when it comes to the greenback has its rise been slow, last year notwithstanding. And sure enough, checking the gold market’s price action in dollar denominations shows a familiar correlation: dollar up, gold down.

Dollar’s effect on gold’s price

Yet simple logic demonstrates that gold has little to worry about regarding dollar strength. With trillions of U.S. dollars printed last year, it’s questionable where that strength is coming from and how long it can persist.

Interestingly, despite the dollar’s relative strength recently, oil’s price has skyrocketed over the last few months. Americans notice at the gas pump when filling their tanks. However, oil price has much more far-reaching consequences than an extra $20 spent at the convenience store. Higher oil prices mean higher transportation prices, driving up costs of everything from fresh foods to imported manufactured goods.

Which leads us directly into the highest inflation in the last 30 years…

The Fed is losing control of inflation

The Federal Reserve has done nothing but downplay the threat of inflation so far. The PCE index, which monitors the prices of goods and services purchased by U.S. consumers, rose by 4.3% year-on-year in August. It was the ninth straight month of massively surging inflation, and the highest figure in the last 30 years.

It just so happens that the PCE index is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, which might explain why Fed Chair Jerome Powell voiced expectations of ongoing market disruptions, which are intrinsically tied to inflation, well into next year. Quite a statement for someone promising to embark on a major tightening program next month.

As just one example of the kind of damage that inflation is doing, home prices, as measured by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, rose 19.7% in the year ended July 2021. Hearing that it’s the highest annual rise since 1987 is troubling. Learning that the index started in 1987 really puts this number into perspective.

The dollar’s role in determining gold’s price

One of the key points of Trump’s presidential tenure was an ongoing back-and-forth with the Federal Reserve over various things, with the greenback being near the top of the list. President Trump wanted a weaker dollar for trade purposes, often saying that China’s devaluation of the yuan is continuing to give the nation a trade advantage.

Holmes notes that while a strong dollar might sound good on paper, it’s actually harming U.S. exporters, and it’s doing so during a time when no nation can afford to have economic weakness.

How this plays out remains to be seen. And while we wait for gold to truly respond to any of these tailwinds, it’s good to remind ourselves just how liquid of an asset gold is during a time when cryptocurrencies are taking their place on the global market.

While Holmes often tells people that gold is the fourth most liquid asset, the latest World Gold Council data shows that it’s actually the second, coming only behind S&P 500 stocks. Its daily trading volume beats all commodities, government and corporate debt and even currency swaps. Even amid bouts of tepid price action, the gold market itself is as action-packed as they come.

Buying Gold For “Portfolio Insurance” Could Be Lucrative

With all the parallels being drawn between the Vietnam war and the Afghanistan war, the tale of how gold plays into it is an interesting one. 1971 marked the full and official untethering of the U.S. dollar from gold and the beginning of a monetary experiment that works quite well until one looks under the hood.

But what really prompted President Nixon to make his infamous decision? As MoneyWeek’s Dominic Frisby notes, in August 1971, French president Pompidou sent his officials to New York to collect the nation’s expatriated gold, battleship and all. As the British informed Nixon that he should begin preparations, the President quickly realized that he can’t part with $3 billion of physical gold and finance a costly war with Vietnam. A concession had to be made, and between a sovereign and economic one, Nixon chose the latter.

The dollar was now untethered from gold, and the U.S. was free to print it and finance the war while eroding the greenback’s purchasing power to unimaginable levels. Perhaps most importantly, Frisby reminds us that Nixon portrayed the untethering as an extreme and temporary measure, one that would only be necessary until the war effort is over. This portrayal definitely served to cushion the impact of something that might otherwise seem unacceptable, just as in the case of quite a few other governmental interventions.

Now, 50 years later, we see that the government’s assurances don’t amount to much, and we’ve gleaned a few other things as well. Money is easy to print, but physical gold is hard to come by. Frisby notes that some gold investors might be disappointed by gold’s 15% drop from its high of $2,070. But that only really refers to spot price. An ounce of paper gold might go for its spot price, but those wanting to buy gold bullion might quickly find that the price has hardly changed since last August.

Gold owners and long-time bugs should also view gold’s lack of performance compared to stocks and other asset classes as a positive development. Wall Street instructs investors to hold 10% of their portfolio in gold and hope that it doesn’t go up. That’s because gold going up significantly means economic disaster as an optimistic scenario and a global crisis as a less pleasant one.

Yet gold is indeed going up. Over the last few weeks, it fell to $1,750 only to promptly climb back to its current level of above $1,815. Investors aren’t selling, which tells us that the outlook isn’t that great. Inflation is already here, and that it will only be temporary is yet another governmental assurance that could very well rank with the aforementioned ones. All of the drivers are in place for gold to continue its move up, and that’s not counting any black swan event during a time when everyone seems to be preparing for them.

Frisby sees room for gold to jump between 30% and 40% if trouble arises. In the meantime, gold investors should hold onto their well-performing insurance and hope that the next bout of gains comes from something mild such as a stock market crash, instead of global upheaval.

This Billionaire Says 25% of Your Money Should Be in Gold

This Billionaire Says 25 Percent of Your Money Should Be in Gold

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about a reassessment of portfolio theory and treating gold as a necessity, rather than an option. This came primarily as a result of the global bond market suffering a quiet collapse, with yields on most sovereign bonds falling to zero or dipping in negative territory. (Yields look even worse when you factor inflation into your calculations.) The Treasury, too, has been subject to the fall of the bond market with its ongoing all-time low showings.

Portfolio managers are indeed beginning to view gold as an alternative to bonds and accepting it as a necessary diversification. Even so, most investors remain underweight.

Prominent pundits like Frank Holmes, CEO of U.S. Global Investors, recommend a 10% allocation to gold to all investors. Many who aren’t keen on precious metals still view it as too high, despite what history has shown us.

Now there’s a voice saying that Holmes’s 10% gold allocation just isn’t good enough.

10% gold allocation might not be enough

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris finds this allocation all too low. In 2018, Sawiris revealed that he had allocated 50% of his $5.7 billion net worth into gold, along with a group called the Shareholders’ Gold Council. Sawiris has since lowered his gold allocation, perhaps to gather capital to start his recently-launched $1.4 billion gold mining fund.

Still, as he recently told CNBC, he recommends that all investors should keep their gold allocation between 20% and 30% of their total savings.

Here’s why Sawiris thinks more gold is better

Sawiris, like all gold investors, wants the safety that no other asset can provide. Last year’s pandemic has shown the extent, magnitude and quickness with which a crisis can hit, and it is one we are still very much in. In his interview with CNBC, Sawiris also spoke about the situation in Afghanistan, which has all the markings of something that could destabilize the entire Middle East.

While these particular comments weren’t tied to gold, there are already comparisons drawn between the Vietnam war and the Afghanistan war. It’s the kind of geopolitical turmoil that affects everyone involved and can cause severe disruptions, and precisely the kind of scenario that highlights the value of gold’s independence. After all, those Vietnamese refugees who held onto their physical precious metals found themselves on the most solid footing after fleeing.

Sawiris reiterated as much, saying that gold is something that has always been around and can be counted on to remain valuable. For the Western investor, gold is a safe haven providing peace of mind without worrying about stock, bond or fiat crashes or a crisis of any sorts. The greater the allocation, the lesser the worry, and the less dramatic the financial fallout when trouble arrives.

Sawiris said that he very much appreciates this safe-haven aspect of owning physical gold. In addition to the ongoing economic issues previously mentioned, he said today’s stock market might be worth keeping an eye on. Stock prices continue to barrel on despite record valuations in what is now by far the most decrepit bull run in history.

Gold Bullion and Coin Demand Just Keeps Rising: World Gold Council

Gold Bullion and Coin Demand Just Keeps Rising: World Gold Council
Photo by Zlaťáky.cz

As seen in the World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends report for 2021’s second quarter, gold managed to shed its losses from the first quarter and post an overall 4% price gain in Q2. Certain hawkish statements made by the Federal Reserve weren’t enough to balance inflation concerns, a weaker dollar and negative real interest rates.

Gold demand just keeps growing

Gold demand intensified on all fronts, including a somewhat surprising return by funds after their massive outflows in the first quarter. While the report states that there is still room for improvement in terms of jewelry demand, consumer purchases have nonetheless posted a considerable recovery, especially as economic conditions remain sluggish in many areas of the world.

Overall, jewelry demand in Q2 totaled 390.7 tons, a 60% year-on-year increase. The biggest buyer was China, whose 146.9 tons amounted to a 62% year-on-year increase. Chinese consumers purchased 338 tons of gold in the first six months of 2021, a 122% year-on-year increase. Remarkably, the figure is also 6% higher than the amount of jewelry purchased in the country in first half of 2019. Despite economic woes, India posted a 25% year-on-year increase in jewelry purchases, with similar rises happening across most of the Middle East.

Western jewelers also had a notable showing, with 37.7 tons of jewelry demand in Q2 2021 marking the strongest showing for the quarter since 2007. Investment demand in the U.S. was another important point, with retail investors buying 30 tons in the second quarter. The amount of gold bought in the first half of 2021 was brought to a record 61.7 tons. Chinese retailers and individual investors made the most of lower premiums and a stronger economy, buying 57.3 tons of gold in Q2. This represented a 41% year-on-year increase and a 16% increase over the second quarter of 2019.

Worldwide demand for gold bars saw an 18% year-on-year increase, while gold coin demand rose by 7% compared to the same quarter last year. And not all of the buyers were private investors.

Central bank gold buying significantly higher

Central banks posted their third consecutive quarter of net buying despite many instances of nations resorting to selling. Demand from the official sector was all the more notable due to the diversity of buyers, with Thailand purchasing 90.2 tons of gold in the first half of the year. It was joined by many other relative newcomers, such as Hungary which bought 62.09 tons of gold during the same period and Uzbekistan with purchases amounting to 25.50 tons.

The overall 214% year-on-year increase in central bank purchases was conspicuous, but perhaps expected given the conditions of last year.

Industrial demand for gold rising, too

Despite disruptions in the technological sector, gold demand was still strong across the board, with an overall 18% year-on-year increase of 80 tons bought during the second quarter. Electronics demand rose the most, 16%, while dentistry recorded its first year-on-year increase in 17 years with 12%.

Other industrial demand rose from 8.3 tons in Q1 to 10.8 tons in Q2, a 31% year-on-year increase.

Buy the Dip While Panic Selling in Gold Lasts

Buy the Dip While Panic Selling in Gold Lasts

Gold has always been prone to bearish Wall Street sentiment and investor overreactions, and this was perhaps on full display after the latest Federal Reserve meeting. Optimistic GDP forecasts and hints at interest rate hikes in 2023 and onwards sent gold tumbling to a two-month low, with weekly losses above 5% percent. Yet, as usual, the drivers of the move downwards are questionable at best.

Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day Asset Management, said that the Fed meeting was actually bullish for gold upon closer inspection. He expects prices to bounce back in the short-term. Day notes that the Fed chair essentially said the government wants to rein in its loose monetary policy, but doesn’t have a way of doing it. This is clearly demonstrated by their inability to hike rates for at least two more years.

Day believes a lot of the selling was automated on some level and that investors will soon return to their previous bullish outlook.

Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management, said that markets were looking for an excuse to rebalance from technically overbought gold and oversold U.S. dollar, and that the Fed meeting was just that.

Cieszynski said that it wasn’t so much the Fed’s projections that caused the pullback, but rather the signal that officials are looking for a way to tighten monetary policy. While the statement alone was enough to send the markets selling, Day is among the numerous experts who don’t see any feasible way for the Fed to either tighten its monetary policy or subdue inflation.

The latter has been an especially prominent talking point as of late, with core and consumer inflation rising at their fastest pace in over a decade and consensus forecasts that more inflation is coming. Phillip Streible, chief investment strategist at Blue Line Futures, said that his firm has been waiting for an opportunity to buy gold.

Streible said his company has already started buying the dip, noting that they are positioning themselves for higher inflation accompanied by weaker-than-expected growth later in the year.

Last week’s Kitco News Weekly Gold Survey of 18 Wall Street analysts showed that 56% were bearish on gold in the short-term, with bullish and neutral sentiment tied with 22% votes for each. A Main Street poll with 2,174 respondents showed considerably more optimistic sentiment, with 52% of voters expecting gold to bounce back this week, 31% expecting additional pullbacks and 17% voting neutral.

Gold’s Heading Up for Many Reasons. Here’s the Weirdest One

Gold's Heading Up for Many Reasons. Here's the Weirdest One

After months of sideways price action, gold appears to have resumed its uptrend, breaking out of its range and hitting a high just short of $1,890 during Friday’s trading session. With upwards momentum looking strong and the 200-day moving average passed, some are wondering what caused gold’s breakout after a fairly tepid few months. This time, the usual suspects are joined by an unusual trend that just might be the primary cause…

Inflation and dollar weakness

According to the World Gold Council, the price rise is the result of inflationary concerns, with the CPI jumping by 4.2% year-on-year in April. Commodity prices are soaring, which drives up the producer price index and increases consumer costs on virtually everything from food to homes.

In addition, the trillions of newly-printed dollars are still a primary concern for most investors. Thanks to three rounds of free money, spending has recovered so a lot of those dollars are chasing a limited quantity of goods, driving prices higher. with inflation already materializing on one front and warnings of a lot of more to come on another.

JPMorgan reports big institutional investors dumping “digital gold” for the real thing

Some experts view the recent cryptocurrency “correction” (which seems like too subtle a word to describe a 7-day 40% plunge) as the real reason behind gold’s recent price gains. Bitcoin was praised as an inflationary hedge due to its fixed supply and, in fact, was invented primarily as a counterweight to central bank malpractice after the 2008 financial crisis.

But the recent double-digit percentage correction in the market reminded investors looking for a hedge that the crypto market is, and has always been, a highly volatile one.

While bitcoin provides hedging utility, its price volatility absolutely boggles the mind. This is where gold emerges as a familiar, reliable and most of all stable asset, as an overnight double-digit percentage pullback would be virtually unheard of in the well-established market. That’s probably why JP Morgan’s report of big institutional investors choosing stable hedging with gold over volatile hedging with bitcoin.

That might be a partial explanation of our unusual fund flow report…

Paper gold funds bucking the price trend

As seen on Chief Investment Officer, Tom McClellan offers a curious take that even the keen analyst might have overlooked.

McClellan notes that spikes in gold prices are usually followed by massive inflows into large gold funds. It’s the same pattern you see in stocks: once a stock has proven it’s a winner by going up, everyone wants a piece of the success, so they buy. It’s a human reaction. It’s the closest thing to a law of investing there is.

This time is different. Despite a major upward move in gold’s price, two of the biggest gold funds (SPDR Gold Shares, GLD and iShares Gold Trust, IAU) have not gained buyers. They have not seen the kind of cash inflow that always seems inevitable when prices go up. What’s going on?

McClellan interprets this as investors still not having woken up to the goings-on in the gold market, perhaps due to the hectic economic situation affecting all other markets. This could also be seen as investors uncharacteristically holding out for further developments before making a move, which doesn’t sound bullish on its own.

McClellan explained the potential benefits of the situation this way:

The uptrend is not mature yet. It still has more to go, before we get to the point when everyone starts piling in.

“Piling in” in this case means buying paper gold, which drives up gold’s spot price, which in turn tends to attract paper gold buyers… Basically the kind of feeding frenzy that has the potential to send prices skyrocketing.

Given that gold has already broken out to the cusp of $1,900, the kind of acknowledgment and subsequent piling into funds that McClellan hints to would quickly translate to fireworks in the gold market.

If McClellan’s idea that gold’s uptrend has just started gaining traction towards $1,900, on the way to its previous all-time high, the smart investors who hold gold have plenty to be excited about.

Gold Demand Trends Update: Paper Gold Sell-Off Despite Insatiable Hunger for Physical Gold

Gold Demand Trends Update: Q1 2021

On April 29, the World Gold Council released a comprehensive overview of the various drivers behind gold demand in the first quarter of the year, as well as covering some supply insights. Here are the most interesting parts…

Gold demand falling?

The 23% year-on-year decline in demand would, at first glance, have one believe that gold is falling out of favor. Yet, as the report notes, the percentage is almost exclusively attributed to a combination of paper gold fund outflows and central banks temporarily becoming net sellers.

Paper gold dumped (especially in the U.S.)

Publicly-traded gold ETFs (including but not limited to SPDR Gold Shares: GLD, iShares Gold Trust:IAU, Goldman Sachs Physical Gold ETF:AAAU, Invesco Physical Gold: SGLD) have been net sellers of gold for five of the last six months. January was the sole outlier with a net gain of a mere 14.3 tons globally.

What’s going on?

There are a variety of explanations: investors are pivoting into the stock market, in the hopes the stimulus-fueled boom in markets will somehow become sustainable. Investors saw the massive inflation in basic materials reported in March and moved their commodity bets away from gold, into base metals, lumber and other industrial raw materials. Or perhaps Americans learned to prefer gold they can hold in their hands to a line item on their brokerage statements, and sold paper to buy physical gold?

That would explain the extreme supply shortages gold dealers have experienced all-too regularly since early 2020. And also the reason the U.S. Mint rationed precious metals coin sales…

Interestingly, while Western funds sold off their gold, Asian funds were eager to load up on them. Chinese funds bought 11.5 tons of gold in Q1 to boost their holdings to a record 72.4 tons, with the rest of Asia reinforcing the trend of the flow of institutional gold from West to East.

The rest of the gold demand story is, well, pretty simple. Everybody wants gold.

Gold jewelry boom

From a broader perspective, it looks like gold demand is ramping up on all sides. The report points to a 52% year-on-year increase in jewelry demand, showing a massive recovery in consumer purchases in this quarter compared to the previous year. While gold demand still has room to recover in this sector, there are already numerous promising figures. The $27.5 billion spent on the 477.4 tons of gold jewelry is the highest first-quarter amount since 2013, and also 25% above the five-year quarterly average.

Although China spearheaded jewelry demand with 191.1 tons in Q1, the highest quarterly figure since 2015, and India trailed with 102.5 tons, other parts of the world showed strong jewelry purchases as well. Despite a lot of tumult in the country over the quarter, Turkey still posted a 5% year-on-year increase in jewelry purchases over the period.

In addition to a number of smaller Asian nations, the U.S. consumer base looks to have strengthened, with domestic jewelry demand growing 6% year-on-year to 24.3 tons, the highest Q1 figure since 2009.

Consumer demand for physical gold highest ever

The flow of gold from Western funds we discussed above stood in stark contrast to investment demand on the consumer side.

Q1 was the third consecutive quarter of growth in gold coin and bar demand, climbing to 339.5 tons, the highest quarterly figure since 2016. Investment demand was strong across all regions, with the U.S. posting a 77% year-on-year increase of 26.3 tons, double the five-year quarterly average.

China’s 86 tons of investment gold bought in Q1 were a massive 133% year-on-year increase and a 21% increase compared to Q1 2019. Indian retail investment grew for the third quarter in a row to reach 37.5 tons, a 34% year-on-year increase, while Turkey’s 44.3 tons were an almost double year-on-year increase.

Manufacturers bought almost as much gold as central banks

After last year’s back-and-forth, central banks returned to net purchasing with 95 tons of gold bought in Q1, and the report expects the official sector to continue with strong purchases throughout the year. The often-overlooked technology sector saw an 11% year-on-year increase in gold purchases, amounting to a total of 81.2 tons, with 66.4 tons coming from electronics manufacturers.

Gold production snapshot

Despite a recovery in mine production, overall gold supply in the first quarter fell by 4% year-on-year, amounting to 1,146 tons compared to the 1,096 tons supplied over the same period last year.

In short, it looks like the shortage we’ve seen in physical gold coins and bullion since 2020 won’t get better anytime soon. It might get worse first, between China’s big imports for consumers and citizens of crisis-stricken nations desperate for gold as a safe store of value (Turkey’s lira crisis and India’s COVID emergency).

Gold’s Perfect Storm Is On the Horizon

Gold's Perfect Storm Is On the Horizon

The when, why and how regarding gold’s “perfect storm,” or the appreciation of an asset that many consider to be severely undervalued, is a matter of frequent debate. Mining.com’s Richard Mills believes the forecast is clear, the clouds are building, and lightning is striking closer than ever. Rising gold price will be driven by protectionist policies spearheaded by China, the likelihood of a major inflationary bout, low rates, negative yields, supply gluts and tensions.

The multiple fronts of the perfect storm

That’s quite a basket of factors, and China’s movements as of late have perhaps been of the biggest interest to some. In short order, the Asian nation has brought 150 tons of gold bullion into its country and launched a digital yuan that some believe could at some point be tethered to gold. While it might not be in China’s interest to dump the U.S. dollar as it holds over $3 trillion in its reserves, it might very well look to take the greenback’s spot as the world’s reserve given the opportunity of a banking meltdown or a currency crisis.

Having a gold-backed digital yuan would ideally position it for such a role at a time when the amount of money pumped into the U.S. economy almost echoes hyperinflation. How and when this pent-up cash will be unleashed hasn’t yet been laid out, but consumer prices are already spiking across the board, and a nearly 30% expansion in M2 year-to-date hardly means good news for the free-floating dollar.

Central banks stockpiling gold

It should come as no surprise, then, that countries around the world are stockpiling gold with various stated goals that can best be summed up as a need for solid backing. The 650 tons of gold bullion bought by central banks in 2018, and a repeat in 2019, was then seen by many as de-dollarization, but there appear to be plenty more layers to this story as the official sector returns to net buying. The supply, on the other hand, is lacking.

World’s gold production falling

A World Gold Council report showed that last year’s gold supply fell by 4% compared to 2019, with production likewise dropping by 4%. While the production losses were attributed to the crisis, Mills points out that data released by top miners shows that gold output between 2019 and 2021 could be marked with a further 9.5% decline.

Speaking of declining…

Declining and subzero bond yields make gold a preferred safe haven

The piling into gold as a safe-haven asset by investors and central banks alike has also been bolstered by the fall of the bond market. For all the criticism that the U.S. Treasury gets for having a 1.5% 10-year yield, 2.26% 30-year yield and a negative 1.1% real yield, it stands as one of the few sovereign bonds that actually offer a yield at all. For comparison, on the date of publication, here are the 10-year bond yields among several of the world’s other leading reserve currencies:

  • France: 0.084%
  • Germany: -0.25% (French and German yields quoted as proxies for Euro zone)
  • Japan: 0.077%
  • U.K.: 0.759%
  • Switzerland: -0.259%

The bond market’s sharp decline began in 2019, and many analysts believe that portfolio managers will grow to adopt gold in a reassessment of what offers a safe return of capital rather than a return on capital.

While there are various geopolitical tensions that could bolster gold’s appeal, the trade war between the U.S. and China will likely prove to be by far the biggest red flag, as the latter appears bent on diminishing the dollar on the global stage and placing itself as a reserve alternative. And, by printing trillions of dollars out of thin air with only hope backing them, the Federal Reserve will likely end up as an accomplice in any such bid.

These are all the factors of gold’s perfect storm Mills sees on the horizon. Only time will determine if this ominous forecast portends a brief squall or a hundred-year flood.

Gold’s 2021 Price Rises on Firm Footing

Gold's 2021 Price Rise on Firm Footing

The flow of institutional gold in November may have caused some market watchers to reminisce of gold’s run between 2008 and 2013, one that saw the yellow metal reach a new all-time high in 2011 before a fairly sharp decline. After a lengthy absence, institutions jumped into the gold market with record purchases this year due to unprecedented uncertainty, only to reduce their holdings by a substantial margin on what looks to be improved sentiment (the release of a COVID-19 vaccine and an anticipated surge in customer spending).

Yet little has changed in terms of gold’s fundamentals and, as Friday’s trading session showed, in terms of gold’s price movement. Despite the large institutional outflows, gold hit a high of $1,890 on Friday, not too far off from the $2,070 peak set in August. According to State Street Global Advisors’ George Milling-Stanley, there aren’t too many reasons to compare gold’s current run to that of a decade prior, aside from the bullish prospects themselves.

Why is gold’s bull run different this time?

In a web seminar hosted by the firm, the chief gold strategist elaborated upon the differences between the two bull runs and why gold investors have more cause for optimism than concern heading into 2021. Milling-Stanley described gold’s last run as frothy in regards to investors chasing gains, though he nonetheless noted that it helped establish a new price range for gold, moving the metal from around $250 to $1,000.

Adam Perlaky, manager of investment research at the World Gold Council who also participated in the seminar, outlined a key point to look out for when anticipating gold’s movement over the coming years. Previously, portfolio managers have held steadfastly to the 60/40 stock/bond allocation while paying minimal attention to gold.

The safety that bonds once offered, however, is now highly questionable at best if not gone altogether. Sovereign bonds around the world are now yielding zero to negative interest, and with increasingly loose monetary policies accompanied by debasement of fiat currencies and mounting debt, the bond market is only expected to worsen. We simply can’t expect government bonds to keep pace with inflation in this interest rate environment.

Gold shines brightest at 10% allocation

This ties into Milling-Stanley’s separation of gold’s current bull run to that of 2011, as gold began truly gaining traction last year long before the pandemic was even mentioned, being given a massive push by worldwide slicing of interest rates and a subsequent dearth of safe-haven assets.

Whereas most institutions previously held a 1%-2% gold portfolio allocation at most, analysts are now expecting fund managers to increase this allocation to 4%-5%. Milling-Stanley believes institutions could look to increase their portfolio allocation to gold to as high as 10% in what will turn out to be a broad reassessment of hedging. According to State Street’s research, a 10% allocation to gold offers the optimum advantage against inflation risk and market volatility while still showing the greatest returns.

Needless to say, even the more conservative prediction of a +2%-3% increase in institutional gold holdings bodes extremely well for gold prices considering the trillions of dollars of investment capital involved.

While both experts note that vaccine developments have given way to some risk-on sentiment, the latter is expected to remain subdued considering the broader economic picture. Perlaky notes that the global economy has never encountered anything resembling this year’s pandemic, the full effects of which are still to be revealed.

To Milling-Stanley, gold’s pullback from August’s levels represents a healthy correction from what were at the time perhaps overbought levels. This should help the metal better prepare for the next leg of a lengthy bull run that could see it push to $2,300 sometime next year.

Gold’s Rally Just Getting Started, Say Numerous Analysts

Gold's Rally

Currently, prices are moving up alongside those of stocks, but a bevy of analysts agree that the yellow metal still has plenty of upside. Find out why here.

As U.S. and Chinese stocks recover after massive amounts of stimulus was pumped into both economies, some are surprised to see gold doing just as well as equities. Although the two have traditionally had an inverse correlation, it has been severed for some time now.

Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, pointed out the differences between the respective rises in gold and stocks. In the case of the latter, the equity market’s upswing seems to rely heavily, if not exclusively, on expectations that stimulus programs will translate to corporate earnings and pave the way to an economic recovery. Prior to the pandemic, many analysts were tapping their feet as they waited for a correction in the longest-running bull market in equities’ history while warning that valuations seem to be heavily overblown.

In contrast, gold has been on a steady rise since summer last year, when central banks around the world began slashing interest rates. While a major factor, gold also had plenty of other drivers that facilitated a slew of price gains until March, when the metal briefly dipped before going on to breach $1,800 for the first time since 2011. Although the pandemic was a big reason for this move, and persistent concerns about the coronavirus are fueling gold demand, there is much more to be said about gold’s gains over the past year.

Michael Novogratz, CEO and chairman of Galaxy Digital, believes the current macro environment is a perfect one for gold to breach its all-time high. Although Novogratz took note that investors have been quick to jump on optimistic sentiment, the CEO believes things will ultimately boil down to the unprecedented amount of money printed by the Federal Reserve and other central banks. With gold having traditionally acted as the primary guard against inflation and a way of preserving wealth, Novogratz expects the metal to move past $1,950 fairly soon. The price target doesn’t look too far off, as gold has been touching and passing the $1,810 level throughout the previous trading week.

Michael Howell, CEO of Crossborder Capital, expressed very similar opinions, stating that investors should look for diversification and pegging gold as the one asset that is guaranteed to keep climbing. Like Novogratz, Howell said that stimulus programs are the best news that the gold market could receive, forecasting a climb to $2,500 within the next 18 months.

Along with being exceptionally well-positioned in both the short and long-term, a deeper analysis suggests that gold’s price should already be much higher. Peter Boockvar, an analyst at Bleakley Advisory Group, places gold’s inflation-adjusted all-time high at around $2,600 when taking into account the metal’s 1980 high of $850. Boockvar, too, believes this price adjustment is well on its way.